The Monster of Florence

  • by Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi
  • Narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris
  • 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 2000, Douglas Preston and his family moved to Florence, Italy, fulfilling a long-held dream. They put their children in Italian schools and settled into a 14th-century farmhouse in the green hills of Florence, where they devoted themselves to living la dolce vita while Preston wrote his best-selling suspense novels.All that changed when he discovered that the lovely olive grove in front of their house had been the scene of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known only as the Monster of Florence. Preston, intrigued, joined up with the crack Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to solve the case.The Monster of Florence tells the true story of their search for - and identification of - a likely suspect, and their chilling interview with that man.Then, in a strange twist of fate, Preston and Spezi themselves became targets of the police investigation into the murders. Preston had his phone tapped and was interrogated by the police, accused of perjury, planting false evidence and being an accessory to murder - and told to leave the country. Spezi fared worse: he was thrown into Italy's grim Capanne prison, accused of being the Monster of Florence himself.The Monster of Florence, which reads like one of Preston's thrillers, tells a remarkable and harrowing story involving murder, mutilation, suicide, carnival trials, voyeurism, princes and palaces, body parts sent by post, séances, devil worship and Satanic sects, poisonings and exhumations, Florentine high fashion houses, and drunken peasants. And at the center of it are Preston and Spezi, caught in the crossfire of a bizarre prosecutorial vendetta.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Enjoyable true-crime novel

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Granted, the cast of characters, all with Italian names, was not easy to follow, but after a few hours of listening things sort themselves out. The narrator was superb - I'd put him in the Scott Brick category. I give up on about 1/3 of the audio books I buy before getting to the end, but not this one. This book actually made me look forward to the next-day's drive down the Interstate.

My biggest disappointment was finishing it. I doubt I'll find an adequate replacement.

One minor quibble: I do not think it was necessary, really, for the narrator to use a fake Italian accent while reading an English translation of what Italians said. The book would have not have been "written" with an Italian accent, and that would have made it easier to understand. On the other hand, the accent was well-done and did add flavor to the story, so it was an artistic decision I probably shouldn't second-guess.

If you like A&E shows like Cold Case Files, and international thrillers, you'll probably like this.
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- SFort

Amanda Knox

Anyone who plans on reading the Amanda Knox book,"Waiting to be Heard" needs to read Douglas Preston's Book first. I read them in reverse order. What an eye opener. Once you read this book and Amanda's there can be no doubt as to her innocence. Mr. Preston's book kept me out of circulation for three days. Every spare minute I found myself listening to this book. By itself it is a great listen but combine it with Amanda's and it's a must listen.
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- Herb

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-17-2008
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio